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All boards to move towards common curriculum, papers

All boards to move towards common curriculum, papers

NEW DELHI :  The Union ministry of human resource development (HRD) will curb the "malpractice of spiking of marks" and implement a more scientific moderation policy from 2018. The Delhi high court had restrained the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) -primarily because of the timing of the board's decision -from doing away with its moderation policy this year.

The HRD ministry has set up an inter-board working group (IBWG), comprising eight boards, to work out the details for stopping of moderation and upward revision, or spiking, of marks.

IBWG will deliberate regularly and work out a model for all boards to follow.

All boards will also move towards adopting a common core curriculum, the grace marks policy is to be uploaded on websites, and marks and grades for extracurricular subjects are to be given separately. The plan is also to share question papers (with CBSE) to bring about uniformity in assessment.

"It (the plan to scrap moderation) could not happen as planned this year. However, we are working things out for all boards from next year. In fact, all the boards have agreed to stop spiking marks from next year," a senior HRD ministry official said.

The official added that some boards had raised certain issues at the April 24, 2017 meeting about implementing the same this year, but they are in agreement about 2018.

In April, 32 school education boards agreed not to moderate marks (for upward revision) this year, but the Delhi high court, acting on a petition, restrained CBSE from implementing it. Meanwhile, some boards continued with the practice of "inflating the marks".

However, the HRD ministry was encouraged by the fact that some boards, like those of Punjab and Karnataka, adhered to the consensus and made an effort.

"We have seen that a few boards didn't moderate marks this year and the results reflected that. There are quite a few of them. So that's a start," the official added.

It has also been decided that CBSE will share question papers with states that use NCERT books 'so that there is uniformity across all states in difficulty levels of questions and in the subsequent evaluations'.

"We have a year's time now to plan and initiate wider consultation as the states are already on board.This is crucial if we are to arrest variations in results which affect students adversely, bring about uniformity in evaluation and improve the quality of education," a member of the IBWG said.

The member also said that more space should be given to the boards and their concerns should also be addressed.